First ‘Test-Tube Baby’ Now a Reporter in Maine — 25 years Later

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As the first baby born in the U.S. through “in vitro” fertilization, Elizabeth Comeau became a magnet for reporters and photographers who would show up from time to time in her hometown of Westminster, Mass.

“I understood I was different, but I didn?t think it was a very big deal,” Comeau told the Bangor Daily News. “Everybody knew.”

The public exposure had an impact on Comeau?s career path. Now 25, she is a reporter for the Kennebec Journal, a daily newspaper in Augusta.

“I grew up around reporters,” Comeau said. “As I got older, I could see that there were good reporters and bad reporters. I would joke around and tell them I could do it better than they could.”

The story of Comeau?s history-making birth dates to April 1981, when her mother?s egg was fertilized with her father?s sperm in a petri dish in a hospital laboratory. The fertilized egg was nurtured for a few days in a special incubator and then implanted in her mother?s womb.

After an uneventful, full-term pregnancy, Carr gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. Three days later, doctors told reporters that the nation?s first “test-tube baby” was completely normal.

Four months later, Elizabeth Jordan Carr was baptized at the Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono, the church where her parents had been married nearly a decade before.

Now recently married, Comeau lives with her husband, David, and their beagle-mix, Chase, in a brown-shingled house on a back road near Augusta.

Comeau?s interest in journalism blossomed in college. She interned with The Boston Globe, reported for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and was awarded a yearlong fellowship at the Poynter Institute in Florida.

She landed her position with the Kennebec Journal about two years ago and says she was happy to relocate to her mother?s home state.

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